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Richard Bacon says doctors expected him to die from near-fatal lung infection

Richard Bacon has revealed how doctors expected him to die from a lung infection as he recalled the moment his wife told him to ‘stay away from the white light’.

The former Blue Peter presenter and Radio 5 Live host described how he was rushed to hospital after a virus ‘exploded’ in his lungs during a flight from the United States.

He would go on to spend 12 days in intensive care and nine in an induced coma, as medics battled to save his life from the mystery infection.

The 42-year-old spoke to Good Morning Britain about how close he came to death, describing the moment he was put under as the ‘most shocking day of my life’.

The 42-year-old spoke to Good Morning Britain about how close he came to death, describing the moment he was put under as the ‘most shocking day of my life’

He told co-hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: ‘I felt very bad for [my wife] Rebecca. For me, I found out afterwards how close I’d come [to death].

‘As they were putting me in the coma she rubbed my feet and said “don’t walk towards the white light”, which I think was a joke, but I’m not entirely sure.

‘There was one point where they had the crash equipment hovering over me, my body turned blue, there was a moment when they believed I was going to die.’

Father-of-two Richard has since made a miraculous recovery but still has a few months left to his fully recovers due to the ‘amount of drugs pumped’ into his body.

Father-of-two Richard has since made a miraculous recovery but still has a few months left to his fully recovers

Father-of-two Richard has since made a miraculous recovery but still has a few months left to his fully recovers

The star, a healthy eater who does twice daily gym sessions, went to Lewisham Hospital’s walk in centre complaining of struggling to breathe in July. 

Explaining the hours before he went to hospital he said: ‘It was bad luck; I breathed something in.

‘The working theory, they never really worked out what it was exactly, is that I got on the plane at the wrong time and the pressurised cabin caused this infection in both of my lungs to explode everywhere.’ 

‘When I got off the plane I couldn’t breathe properly. I did something really stupid which is, I believed that because I go to the gym a lot I’d kind of be fine.

‘Obviously working on your biceps has no impact on what’s going on in your lungs. So, I left it 18 hours. When I got to A&E that’s when it all kicked off.’

‘I was very, very close to death,’ he said adding that doctors ‘went from telling me I needed to be in an induced coma to being in a coma in 4 minutes’.

‘They said to me afterwards, “it wasn’t that you might die, we expected you to die”. I was the illest person in Lewisham hospital.’

Speaking of being in a coma and if he remembers anything he said: ‘You’re not in any way conscious.

Richard Bacon leaves Lewisham Hospital in south east London with his wife Rebecca (pictured)

Richard Bacon leaves Lewisham Hospital in south east London with his wife Rebecca (pictured)

‘Doctors would come in the room and I’d recognise their voices. Some stuff seeps through basically.’

He added: ‘Coming out of the coma was the worst day of my life. Being told I needed to go into the induced coma was the most shocking moment and coming out was the worst day because you hallucinate and it takes about 14 hours to come out truly.’

Speaking of his health now, he said: ‘I feel really good. It’s six months full recovery. It was in Lewisham. There’s no question that hospital saved my life.

‘There’s no question the NHS saved my life. In 2012 Jeremy Hunt tried to close it down.

‘The lead consultant said to me “If they had succeeded in closing that down, the next A&E would have been too far away and you would have died”.

‘If you think about the problems that south London has at the moment with violence, the idea that they should have one less hospital, it’s obviously ridiculous.’

The former Blue Peter presenter and Radio 5 Live host described how he was rushed to hospital after a virus 'exploded' in his lungs during a flight from the United States

The former Blue Peter presenter and Radio 5 Live host described how he was rushed to hospital after a virus ‘exploded’ in his lungs during a flight from the United States

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